“Throughout the label’s existence, Blasphemy has stood as a cornerstone in the foundation of Nuclear War Now! Productions. In fact, the band played a defining role in YK Insulter’s decision to make the label a serious endeavor, which has led to NWN’s productive output since its inception. Specifically, it was YK’s pilgrimage to Blasphemy’s live gig on July 31st, 2001 that cemented the label’s future direction. The impetus behind this voyage had actually occurred almost a decade earlier, sometime in 1993, when he was first exposed to the irreplicable brand of violent, bestial black metal epitomized by the band’s legendary “Fallen Angel of Doom….” album. Hearing this recording on a car ride to a Carcass concert in Washington D.C. that year ignited YK’s ensuing reverence for the band and others of a similar ilk. Six years later, when it was announced that Blasphemy would return to the stage in the summer of 2000 for the first time since 1994, life circumstances prevented YK from travelling to witness these atrocities. Nevertheless, when two additional shows were announced the following year, a high level of dedication combined with a dose of fortuitous luck resulted in his opportunity to attend and capture one of these shows on a digital MiniDisc recorder that had been gifted to him by an uncle. Although he had been given approval by Ryan Förster (aka DeathLord of Abomination & War Apocalypse) to record the event, it was not until after the gig that he obtained permission from Black Winds and Caller of the Storms to release the recording on LP format. The consequent “Live Ritual – Friday the 13th” LP thus became the first vinyl LP in what has since become Nuclear War Now!’s extensive discography. Originally a joint release with War Hammer Records, 666 copies of “Live Ritual” were pressed, with 100 on red vinyl, which would serve as the primary component in a more limited die-hard edition that also included, among other exclusive items, a CDR of a Blasphemy rehearsal that took place later that summer. Approximately seventeen years and several hundred other releases later, “Live Ritual” has become one of the rarest and most sought-after of all NWN releases, and so the time has come for a repress of this historic album. The audio has undergone an additional round of mastering at the hands of James Plotkin to remove the distracting preamble and improve the overall sound. The layout has also been updated to include a more extensive description of events that led to the recording as well as many photos from the gig. In addition to the regular and die-hard LP editions, it is also being made available on both CD and cassette in order to satisfy demand in all forms for this important document. While Nuclear War Now! has continued to evolve from its humble beginnings to its current state, “Live Ritual – Friday the 13th” will always represent the enduring essence of the label, and therefore it is truly fitting that it once again see the dark of night.
– C. Conrad ”